(Photo : Summerhill Stud)
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While the stellar performance of Sea the Stars stole the headlines on a glorious autumn afternoon in Paris, Solskjaer’s record-breaking half brother, G1 Ascot Gold Cup hero Yeats (Sadler’s Wells), brought down the curtain on an illustrious career in the G1 Prix du Cadran.
The Thoroughbred Daily News writes that connections have confirmed that the eight year-old entire would not race again following a third-place finish in the marathon €250,000 event. “He ran a great race and the big danger was that he would get hurt, as he’s been on the go for seven years now,” Aidan O’Brien said of Yeats. “I’ll never get another horse like Yeats, he’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse.”
Prepared for an attempt on the 2003 G1 Epsom Derby, Yeats was forced to miss that Blue Riband appointment after garnering that year’s G2 Leopardstown Derby trial, but returned the following season to claim the G1 Coronation Cup over the Derby course and distance. He failed to win in three subsequent starts, but gained the first of his Gold Cup triumphs at the 2006 Royal Ascot meet. Despite a reversal in the 2006 G1 Melbourne Cup, further success followed, and he added a second Gold Cup before gaining his sole victory in the G1 Irish St Leger in 2007. Yeats equaled Sagaro’s record with a third straight score in the 2008 Gold Cup, and backed up that victory with a second G2 Goodwood Cup and a win in the G1 Prix Royal-Oak, his only success in four attempts at Longchamp. Below par on unsuitable ground in the April 26 Listed Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan on seasonal return, he lit up this semester’s Royal Ascot with a record breaking fourth success in the June 18 Gold Cup, but was again undone by ground conditions in the September 12 G1 Irish St Leger in his penultimate start. “To think he was trained as a two-year-old and then for the Derby at one point, it’s incredible,” joint owner John Magnier told PA Sport. “He’s one of the greatest stayers I can remember - the last one was probably Sagaro. We have had great fun with him, and this is the beginning of something new. I suppose we will just have to find something to replace him.” Yeats retires with a career record of 26-15-2-2 and earnings of €1,887,624.